Thursday, December 20, 2012


No need for much editorializing here.  This letter from President Mulgrew speaks for itself on the state of negotiations on an evaluation system agreement.  Unless he is truly bluffing and just taking a tough negotiating stand, it looks as though this is not going to get done by Chancellor Walcott's so called deadline of December 21.

The letter below was sent to the Department of Education by UFT President Michael Mulgrew. It describes
the conditions necessary for there to be any future meetings between the UFT and DOE regarding 
development and implementation for a new evaluation system.
Dear Chancellor Walcott,
The Department of Education’s demonstrated inability to manage the school system correctly has led us to
have serious concerns about getting anything constructive done with you. Two and half years ago the state
decided to change this year’s standardized tests to the Common Core standards and since then you have
done nothing to create a curriculum based on the Common Core. You have now left teachers in a 
horrendous situation where they are scrambling to try to get material appropriate for these new tests to
teach their children.
Inevitably, this will lead to a drop in standardized test scores — which I know once again you will try to
blame on the teachers because you will not take responsibility for your incompetence. Despite all of this
and many other examples, the teachers in our schools have worked through Hurricane Sandy and many
other challenges to serve the children in our care, even as the union has continued to try to negotiate a
new evaluation system.
We were recently informed by our members in the schools that you have launched a new program, the
Teacher Effectiveness Intensive Three Week Cycle, without any planning or proper training for the schools.
Charlotte Danielson’s rubric requires intensive training in order for it to be used correctly, but you have
refused to certify or intensely train people so that they can properly use this tool. Your decision to launch this
new program without a plan that would lead to its successful implementation is mind-boggling to us.
Given this history, at this time we will only meet with you to discuss a planning and roll-out process 
for the new evaluation system — in case we ever get to such an agreement. We understand that 
an evaluation system that will create a constructive practice in each school that will enhance
instruction and benefit our
over 1.1 million students is a critical opportunity. An evaluation system that will change the culture of 
our schools is something that the UFT has been working on for over three years. 
We hope that you will not be party to wasting such an important opportunity. We await your 
communication to set up such a meeting on the planning and roll-out process for the benefit
of our children and our schools.
Michael Mulgrew
Michael Mulgrew
UFT President


Anonymous said...

This could be the real deal and Mulgrew has finally grown a set. However, this also could be a "planted letter" just to stall things for a bit to calm down all the pissed UFT members while Mulgrew and Bloomie swill wine and smoke cigars in some million dollar penthouse.

Anonymous said...

It looks as though there is no deal.

reality-based educator said...

This means there will be no deal by the fake Decemeber 21st Mayan/Walcott deadline.

It does not mean there will be no deal.

Before January 17 (the actual deadline), Governor Cuomo will parachute in and "negotiate" something between the aggrieved parties.

Perhaps Bloomberg will not get everything he wants in that kind of agreement, but you can bet it will be more heavily in his favor than ours.

And then the UFT leadership can deflect blame onto Cuomo and claim they did all they could to protect us but it was out of their hands,

Ironically, Mulgrew (or whoever wrote Mulgrew's letter) gets two of the main problems many teachers I speak to have about the new evaluation system:

1. The new "tougher" Common Core tests are being given the same year the new "more rigorous" evaluation process based on test scores goes into place - and yet they aren't cutting anybody any slack for that but fully intend to "i" rate as many as they can this very year

2. The Danielson rubric is a horror show that can be used to "i" rate just about anybody, given the complexity and scope of the checklists contained therein.

It's a pity the geniuses at the UFT and the NYSUT didn't think about this stuff beforehand, but they tend to be a reaction rather than proactive bunch, so now we are living with the consequences of their actions.

As always, I hope to be wrong about this - I hope Mulgrew holds fast to no agreement throughout the Bloomberg year+ and negotiates a fair agreement with whoever replaces the Mayor of Money - one that is not rigged to "i" rate as many teachers as possible.

But the UFT has not shown the willingness to hold out for that, nor have they taken to the airwaves to explain their positions to the public.

So I fully expect a sell-out before the January 17 deadline.

Again, hope I'm wrong.


Unitymustgo! said...

reality-based educator, you are wise. Mulgrew could also be waiting until after the election to ram this down our throats as a thank you for teacher apathy. As annoyed as many may be, three years has proven to be plenty of time for our union to utilize revisionist history to twist the truth of their own culpability.

ed notes online said...

I'm beginning to think the latter scenario is operating with the cooperation of the DOE and maybe Cuomo too. Do lots of posturing on both sides that allow Mulgrew to look tough. Don't underestimate the Chicago story. The DOE knows Mulgrew will never be a Karen Lewis. A high official during the Chi strike actually asked me if it could happen here. "Never with Mulgrew" I told him. While MORE may not yet be a creditable threat, a deal before the election would help MORE and hurt Unity and New Action, which would have to do some dance to justify their Mulgrew endorsement.

Anonymous said...

To the writer who thinks that Mulgrew may finally have "grown a pair" I highly doubt it. Mulgrew knows that only about 20% of teachers vote in the UFT elections. The ones who do are Unity hacks. He also knows veteren teachers are retiring in droves. I was told by someone who works at Tweed that they have someone tracking this closely. I know alot are retiring in January and alot, myself included, are leaving by years end. Prior to the last election I advocated for ICE, stood on the steps of City Hall, encouraged teachers at more than one school to vote to get Unity out, etc. After the % of voters came out, it was over for me. We need to work closely with this election to make sure that a Bloomberg clone or Unity hack is not elected. I have been told by those at 52 Broadway to expect alot of 0's when we do get a contract and retro is not happening. The person I know who works at Tweed loves to make fun of Mulgrew by imitating someone who just says Yes to whatever the mayor says. Lets get an honest mayor in office.

Unknown said...

If helpful Randi Weingarten tries to parachute in to set up her concession stand for negotiations I suggest she be rounded up and sent back on the first crop duster with an engine out.

Anonymous said...

Expect to see Cuomo and Weingarten here to help out very soon. Then, look out.

Unknown said...
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